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Old 04-07-2005   #1
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 178
Shoshone for a newbie?

I was thinking about taking a friend down shosho on fri. I do not know the river that well. What are your thoughts about taking a new guy down at this flow level?? He can roll in the pool, and has been paddling around in Golden WWP. Seems to have decent idea of whats going on, and is very aggresive. To soon, or get'er done???

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Old 04-07-2005   #2
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
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You may want to consider Grizzley Creek to Glenwood rather than Shoshone if your friend's never rolled in Class III rapids before. Another good reach for a newbie may be from the Upper C from about 5 mi. north of I-70, Cottonwood Island to the confluence with the Eagle. There are a half dozen or so Class II rapids and some pools for more roll practice in slow moving water.

Just my opinion, but there will doubtless be some REAL men who ran Class III rapids the first time they ever sat in a boat and think everyone should do it that way...


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 04-07-2005   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 46
Not a good idea.

Shoshoni, although class III, has the reputation of providing miserable swims for beginners with a less-than bomber roll. I know at least two women who will never paddle again because their boyfriends took them down Shoshoni. Putting in lower, at Grizzly Creek for example, I think would be a better idea.

You might also consider walking your boats upstream from the Grizzly Creek takeout and running the last rapid to see how he does. If he's bomber, then bring it on.
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Old 04-07-2005   #4
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 45
Has your friend ever been down a river. The golden WWP at a good flow will provide a challenge but has he or she negotiated a river before?

If so then go for it. Shoshone is not a hard run. Do not however have your friend walk up to the last rapid and try it if not. That is terrible advice as man eater is the toughest and biggest rapid on the run. I would suggest have this person paddle and scout. there is a path along it and he or she can walk every rapid if they want.

I hate to admit it but I put about 40 or more days a year on shoshone and I would say at this level your friend should be OK. That is where I learned how to do a combat roll. Have fun and I may see you down there if I get out of work in time.
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Old 04-07-2005   #5
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This is Ben from the Westwater trip. Just something to keep in mind- the flow on Shoshone is now twice what it was the day we did it so it's probably going to be considerably more pushy than it was that day. Probably won't be snowing though either so that kind of balances it out. Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2005   #6
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 388
There is almost no danger in Shoshone, so the key is this:
Seems to have decent idea of whats going on, and is very aggresive.
I say definitely take him on Shoshone. If he's gung ho, a swim won't demoralize him and will instead challenge him and show him what he needs to work on. Doing a run like this is such a big high for newbies. This is a great run.

But, it is also a good idea of taking him down Grizzley Creek the first time and seeing how he does. Leave it to him.

I think the biggest danger is if he runs it successfully, he'll have too much confidence and will urge him to try something harder that has danger.

If he runs Shoshone successfully the first time, take him again and make him play in the waves so he flips and learns his limits.

You should have a tow rope and he should have warm gear he can swim in.

Tell him that if he flips, he shouldn't rush his roll. He should let the boat stabilize and let a few waves pass before he starts his roll.

Also make sure he pauses in an eddy after each rapid to take a break.
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Old 04-07-2005   #7
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 178
Thanks for the info guys! I think that we are going to give it a go, so if anyone wants to meet up. we are going to be at the put in around 12 noon. Ben, we will boat again soon!!

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Old 04-08-2005   #8
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 67
hay ryguy i did some great swiming there my first time down. it was around 3k. have fun
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Old 04-08-2005   #9
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 122
I did shoshone at this level (1300 cfs) and I am a low level intermediate boater. It was fine, but that was after doing WW parks, grizz creek, filter plant on the poudre, and pumphouse on the colorado.

When I learned how to boat, I went on a class 3 river and had a horrible experience... It took me several years to get those horrible swims out of my head (it was the lower yough in PA).

I think it is way better to start off slow- you can always work your way up to harder runs, but if you start too hard then it takes awhile to get the confidence back up and it may even make people decide not to pursue the sport. There's too many stories of that I think.
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Old 04-08-2005   #10
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If this person is agressive, I'd say take him. If he's tough and swims, it probably wont reck his taste for kayaking, but make sure he tucks. Few people take a face shot on their first run and return for another. I know lots of people who learned on class III, but most of them were raft guides who already knew how to read water.
my .02

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